Hunan Chef - Page 2

Don't let the cold exterior scare you off: Hunan Chef's inviting dishes will warm you up inside

|
(1)
Hunan Chef's tomato beef
GUARDIAN PHOTO BY RORY MCNAMARA

The restaurant offers a range of what might be called signature dishes — dishes with "Hunan" in the name — among them Hunan chicken ($7.50). Here we found, along with chunks of boneless flesh, swaths of bok choy, button mushrooms, broccoli florets, carrot slivers, and whole dried red chilis. These last implied a sauce with some heat — Hunan being, along with Szechuan, among the spicier of China's regional cooking styles — and there was indeed a hint of heat in the marvelous, garlicky red sauce. This was the kind of sauce that left you wishing Chinese restaurants brought you a basket of bread so you'd have a means of sopping it up. An alternative to bread is to have the leftovers boxed up. Once you're in the privacy of your own home, you can do as you see fit.

Service was excellent. The serving of dishes was well-paced, empty plates were removed promptly, and water glasses never ran dry. I was reminded, as I so often am at Chinese restaurants, of the prep time involved in virtually every dish, the dicing, chopping, and shredding — an expense of human effort and energy that reduces cooking times and therefore the need for scarce fuel. As the child of an energy-hogging culture that burns fossil fuels to blow leaves from the sidewalk so the wind can blow them back again, I can't help but be impressed by this.

HUNAN CHEF

Mon.–Sat., 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m.;

Sun., 4–9 p.m.

525 Cortland, SF

(415) 648-3636

Beer and wine

MC/V

Not noisy

Wheelchair accessible

 

Comments

This comment is for the poor sap that stumbles across this review from a Google search and thinks that this place was worth visiting. I live in Bernal and have eaten here several times. The food won't kill you, but it is nothing more than C-minus cheap Chinese. Move along, there's nothing to see here.

Posted by Cameron on Aug. 18, 2010 @ 7:55 pm

Also from this author

  • The last supper

    Food writer Paul Reidinger bids farewell after more than a decade covering the San Francisco food scene

  • Radish

    Staging well-crafted feats of new all-American, neatly tucked away from the Valencia Street h-words

  • Boxing Room

    A warm Hayes Valley spot that punches up the Cajun trend with lagniappe, mirilton, and po'boys